But to be honest…

I’ve been reading some social media posts from incredible women who’ve achieved amazing things this past year. They’ve given me hope that one day soon I might find the courage to throw caution to the winds and travel. Or find the energy to take up dance lessons again. And finish writing a damn book. Or even take another risk and find someone to share my life with and be happy. But to be honest, a lot of the time those things seem like pipe dreams. Insurmountable. Unachievable.

I joke to close friends that my life right now tends to revolve around going to work and fretting about the bills, but it’s not really a joke. Weekdays are all about pasting a smile on my face, getting through the work day, and dredging up the energy to cook when I get home. Weekends tend to be devoted to looking for a halfway decent place to buy so I can quit paying rent (preferably a place close to public transport that will get me to where my workplace is relocating in April), and catching up on housework. I don’t really do anything that might inspire others. It’s a big deal to meet a girlfriend for coffee every couple of months, or be invited by one of my work colleagues to tag along for a drink after work with her and her friends.

Please know I’m not looking for sympathy. I don’t need it because as I look back on this rollercoaster past couple of years, I can count my blessings. I have a job that pays the bills and a place to live. My kids are thriving. I have friends who care about me and keep in touch (even though I’m often in a bad headspace, so because I don’t want to dump all over them I don’t get back to them for a while). I’m well in a physical sense, and I’m becoming a little more resilient when life throws me a curveball.

And I realize I *have* done some things I’m proud to share.

These past few months I’ve learned to live entirely on my own, relying on no one but myself. I’m used to verbalizing my options with someone I trust before I make significant decisions–otherwise I go over and over things in my head and  end up doubting my own logic and decision-making ability–so not having that outlet has been difficult. But I’m managing… even if I do sometimes resort to talking things over with my cat ;)

Despite feeling like a complete fraud because I haven’t had the emotional capacity to write much these past couple of years, and therefore don’t feel I deserve to be called a “writer”, I went to an RWNZ meeting… and was welcomed with open arms and understanding and compassion. So I am determined to pluck up the courage to go to another meeting next year. And another.

I spent my first Christmas Day without seeing my kids… and I got through it. Actually, it was a pretty memorable day in a good way. (And I need to thank my friend Jeanette from the bottom of my heart for inviting me over in the evening, feeding me, and ensuring I felt like a part of her family instead of a hanger-on. Jeanette, you’re the best! And who knew someone who sucks at video games like me would find VR so much fun?!)

I have gone to a couple of movies on my own, and not felt the slightest bit self-conscious. Aquaman was totally freaking awesome, BTW. I loved every minute of it :)

I almost bought a house on my own. It fell through, leaving me gutted, depressed and exhausted. But if I nearly got there once, I can do it again and close the deal, right? Right.

My car crapped out and I bought another one. Like, an actual motor vehicle. All by myself. And damn, I do love washing that car! 

On Christmas Day I summoned the mental energy to get out of my own head and post on one of my sadly neglected social media feeds. [Author’s Note: Actually this post is pretty much a repeat of a second post published earlier today with a couple of omissions that aren’t relevant to a writing-based website. Mmm. Looking at the length of the post, I might be making up for lost time, LOL.]

I learned to use a power drill. I even replaced a part on the lawnmower so I could continue mowing my own damn lawns. But in the interests of full disclosure, there’s been one thing that’s defeated me; I have not been able to master the petrol weedeater/line trimmer. I’ve tried everything. Even after I got the thing serviced, I only managed to get it going to do a bit of tidying up once for a short time, and the next weekend I couldn’t get the bloody thing started again. And believe me, I tried for hours, until I had blisters, and my arms and neck were so sore I had to admit defeat.

I know it sounds stupid and trivial to focus on this because I could have scrimped and saved and paid someone to do the edges. But I just couldn’t bring myself to do that. One weekend I spent four hours clipping the edges by hand and prying weeds out from between the pavers, and could barely open and close my hands the next day, and I didn’t want to do that again if I had a choice.

I know. Stubborn idiot, right? But dammit, I had a loaner weedeater. I wanted–needed–to do this simple thing, that hundreds of thousands of other people can do, for myself. And every time I tried and failed to start that damn weedeater, I just felt… lessened and pathetic and defeated. Looking out the window of my rental at the overgrown lawn edges and weed-infested pavers made me cry. It just about broke me. 

Then, on Christmas Day, my mum and my step-dad gave me some money to “spend on myself”. They also told me not to be so stubborn about the weedeater; if something’s not working, and causing so much trouble, quit trying to make it work. Well, ain’t that a metaphor for life :)

So on Friday after work, I went and spent that money on a cordless, battery-powered, weedeater. And yesterday I connected the charged battery, flicked the switch on that baby, and spent an hour and a half until my hands were cramping doing the edges and weeding between the pavers. Then I mowed the lawns. 

And today, I looked out the windows and smiled. Rock on 2019.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thank you for all your support and encouraging words.

I wish you all an amazing New Year!

:)

Maree

Be Sociable, Share!

Related Posts

Leave a Comment